"Fresian Cool" by Jaime Corum

April 22, 2009

Art: Art + Derbytime = horses, hooch ’n’ hats

A Derby roundup

’Tis the season. No, not that season — the other time of reverence in Kentucky, the Derby. Artists are bursting with depictions of horses, hooch and hats.

It’s not Derby if Jaime Corum is not showing her horse paintings somewhere in town. The Gallery at the Brown (335 W. Broadway, 583-1234) is featuring “Romancing the Horse” through June 5 (opening is Friday, April 24, from 6-8 p.m.). The new work is a slight departure from her normal straight-on realism. She has successfully notched up the drama with unusual poses and colorful backgrounds.

Another superb equine artist is Jeaneen Barnhart. Friday is the “Derby Hop” F.A.T. Friday, and she’ll be exhibiting her work that night at the Pigment Gallery in the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center (1860 Mellwood Ave., 895-3650). Barnhart and her sister Doreen DeHart are the creators of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Festival poster.

When at Mellwood, also stop by the Bridge Gallery to see more depictions of horses by Katie Burke and Pamela Stockard (on display through May 15). Another Mellwood offering, Gallery Janjobe (899-9293), is featuring “Janjobe Stables” full of Derby and Louisville-based items from April 24-May 15. “It’s time for everyone to get their Derby on,” says co-owner Jana John.

Another F.A.T. Friday location is Crescent Hill Gallery (2033 Frankfort Ave., 893-0511). Owner Nancy Alvey is showing artists that night who “have their own versions of what they think of when Derby rolls around.”

As usual, millinery is big business this time of year. It seems the hat creativity is at an all-time high. Artistically designed hats by Katerina Miaoulis are at the Objects of Desire Gallery (1503 Bardstown Road, 458-4164) through May 2. The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (715 W. Main St., 589-0102) also has a large selection of one-of-a-kind, handcrafted headgear.

21c Museum (700 W. Main St., 217-6300) is exhibiting “The Colour of Racing” with hats by Paris Kyne. His inspiration for the hats in the show came from the racing silks of former Kentucky Derby winners. Kyne will be at the museum working 12-4 p.m. daily from April 27-May 1, with his creations selling in the museum shop. The museum is also hosting a tea party with Kyne on Sunday, April 26, at 3 p.m. The cost is $35, reservations required.

Joel Pinkerton believes in creative recycling. His new take on the Derby dress is fashion by way of old Kentucky license plates. He’s showing with Jenni Deamer at Zephyr Gallery (610 E. Market St., 585-5646) through May 16.

The Kentucky Derby Museum (704 Central Ave., 992-5905) is also showcasing apparel this year. The exhibition “Derby Decades: Simply Chic” focuses on the history of Derby fashion. The collection features clothing from 1875, the year of the first Derby, to the present, and will be shown through Dec. 31. Another exhibition at the museum is “Capture the Moment” on the current Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown. The photographs of the 2009 winner will go up May 8 and remain on display through May 3, 2010.

Gallopalooza horses will be galloping to streets near you soon. 

The online Kentucky Derby Store (www.thederbystore.com), part of Churchill Downs Inc., has the 2009 Derby poster by Jeff Williams. But wait, there’s more: Along with the mint julep glasses, Derby pie and T-shirts, it also carries the official Kentucky Derby Barbie. Yes, hell has frozen over.